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Hi-tech drilling to send power lines under river, roads and rail tracks

PUBLISHED: 15:47 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 07 January 2018

ScottishPower Renewables is constructing the East Anglia ONE substation at Bramford. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

ScottishPower Renewables is constructing the East Anglia ONE substation at Bramford. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Archant

Work will start in the coming months to drill under waterways, roads and rail lines in part of Suffolk to connect a £2.5billion offshore windfarm project to the national grid.

ScottishPower Renewables says it will be doing everything possible to minimise disruption and reduce environmental impacts.

The company building the East Anglia ONE windfarm 30 miles off the coast to supply power to around 600,000 homes took the decision to connect the turbines to the national grid at Bramford using underground cables, rather than constructing pylons.

It will mean though that the cables along the 37km route between Bawdsey and Bramford will have to cross under waterways and other infrastructure at around 20 points.

ScottishPower Renewables will be using Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) for these part of the route, an advanced drilling technique to help avoid major disruption to the public.

Joanna Young, stakeholder manager for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “East Anglia ONE is progressing well, with construction underway at the onshore substation in Bramford. To help connect the cables we have planned a Horizontal Directional Drilling programme of work.

“This involves innovative engineering practices and ensures that we won’t impact on train timetables and minimises road works.

“The largest drilling operation will allow us to install 700 metres of cable underneath the River Deben. We would welcome anyone who wants find out more to come and speak to our project team at the public information days.”

East Anglia ONE will feature 102 wind turbines with a capacity of 714 megawatts with the first set to be put in place next year and hopes that the project will be fully operational during 2020.

An offshore substation will collect the electricity from the turbines – with the power then sent to Bawdsey via two offshore export cables, each around 85 km in length

Public information days will be held on: Tuesday, January 16, Bawdsey Village Hall, Ferry Road, Bawdsey, 4pm to 7.30pm; Tuesday, February 13, Martlesham Heath Pavilion, The Drift, Martlesham Heath, 4pm to 7.30pm; and Tuesday, February 20, Claydon and Barham Village Hall, Old Ipswich Road, Ipswich, 4pm to 7.30pm.

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